Ranbir turns funny to promote political thriller 'Raajneeti'

May 26, 2010 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, May 26 (IANS) Hiding from TV cameras behind Katrina Kaif, sketching funny pictures during a press conference, sharing humorous anecdotes about "Raajneeti" -- Ranbir Kapoor has been uncharacteristically boisterous at his recent media events to make the film look youth-friendly.

"Prakash Jha's strategy of taking the political message of 'Raajneeti' to various educational institutions and on so-called 'serious' public platforms has Ranbir worried. He doesn't want the audience to think 'Raajneeti' is a political drama filled with real-life political tensions. Ranbir is employing every strategy he knows to divert attention from the politics of 'Raajneeti'," said a close friend of Ranbir.

According to the friend, Ranbir wants "Raajneeti" to be seen as an entertaining follow-up to his earlier film "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani".

"He knows 'Raajneeti' is poles apart from 'Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani'. But he wants the audience to know it's a very entertaining and watchable drama.

"Ranbir's strategy sometimes goes against Prakash Jha's sales-pitch. The director has been trying to focus on the political content rather than the stars. Ranbir's antics during the recent press conferences countermands the director's attempts to highlight the theme of present day politics," said the friend.

Releasing June 4, "Raajneeti" is set against contemporary political backdrop and it also stars veterans like Naseeruddin Shah and Nana Patekar along with talented actors such as Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpai and Arjun Rampal.

Even while promoting a fun film like "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani", Ranbir was dead serious. But for "Raajneeti", Ranbir is bantering, flirting and joking in full public view with his cast and the media.

The sources say that the actor is deliberately employing the flippant fun-filled strategy at media events.

Even Jha doesn't deny that there's a dramatic change in Ranbir's public conduct for "Raajneeti".

"There's a definite attempt by Ranbir to lighten the atmosphere, to bring an element of 'masti' into our public discussions. But Ranbir and I have not planned any strategy. He is instinctively very sharp, focused and funny. He knows which button to press to get the gathering revved up. So yes, I'd say Ranbir is deliberately lightening the atmosphere. But he isn't messing with the gravity of the discussions," said Jha.

He is all praise for Ranbir's intuitive grasp of the present day youth's aspirations.

"In Bangalore, while discussing the young and politics, Ranbir said it's definitely preferable to have people with basic common sense rather than plain education to run our country. It brought the house down."

Ranbir also wants Katrina to get seriously flippant at "Raajneeti" events, but she isn't biting the bait.

"Ranbir plans to discuss anything but politics. The point he wants to prove is, he's just playing a politician. It doesn't mean he has to have the answers to the ills of the nation. Prakash Jha has been a politician in real life. So he knows and empathizes with Indian politics.

"For Ranbir and Katrina, playing politicians is fantasy. Just as he played a salesman in 'Rocket Singh - Salesman Of The Year', Ranbir is playing a politician in 'Raajneeti'," said the friend.

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